Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ack! I'm never going to get off this topic!

Damn you, Pruning Shears! You made me aware of one I missed!

The info comes from Saturday's San Francisco Chronicle, which reports that the Obama administration is defending John Yoo,
arguing that a prisoner formerly held as an enemy combatant had no right to sue Yoo for writing legal memos that allegedly led to his detention and torture.

"We're not saying we condone torture," department attorney Mary Mason said at a hearing on the government's request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Jose Padilla. But any recourse against a government lawyer "is for the executive to decide, in the first instance, and for Congress to decide," not the courts, she said.

"You're not saying that if high public officials commit clearly illegal acts, a citizen subject to those acts has no remedy in this court?" asked U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White.

Not unless Congress has expressly authorized a lawsuit, Mason replied. She cited the argument the Justice Department made in Yoo's case last year, with President George W. Bush still in office, that courts should not interfere in executive decision-making, especially in wartime.
In other words, it was the Bush administration's position and is now the Obama administration's position that if the Executive Branch fails to prosecute Executive Branch crimes, the people affected by those crimes have no recourse unless Congress, having somehow anticipated the situation, specifically and in so many words allowed for such a suit.

But they're not condoning torture, oh no. They're just covering the asses of those who justified it.

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